Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: metagenomics

25 Metagenomics Features of The Gut Microbiota in Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Anna D. Kotrova, Alexandr N. Shishkin, Elena I. Ermolenko


The aim. To study the quantitative and qualitative colon bacteria ratio from patients with metabolic syndrome. Materials and methods. Fecal samples from patients of 2 groups were identified and analyzed: the first group was formed by patients with metabolic syndrome, the second one - by healthy individuals. The metagenomics method was used with the analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. The libraries of the variable sites (V3 and V4) gene 16S RNA were analyzed using the MiSeq device (Illumina). To prepare the libraries was used the standard recommended by Illumina, a method based on two rounds of PCR. Results. At the phylum level in the microbiota of patients with metabolic syndrome compared to healthy individuals, the proportion of Tenericutes was reduced, the proportion of Actinobacteria was increased. At the genus level, in the group with metabolic syndrome, relative to the second group was increased the proportion of Lachnospira. Conclusion. Changes in the colon bacteria ratio in the gut microbiota of patients with metabolic syndrome were found both at the type and the genus level. In the metabolic syndrome group, there is a decrease in the proportion of bacteria that do not have a cell wall. To confirm the revealed microbiota features in patients with metabolic syndrome, further study with a larger number of samples is required.

Keywords: gut microbiota, metabolic syndrome, metagenomics, tenericutes

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24 Metagenomics Profile during the Bioremediation of Fischer-Tropsch Derived Short-Chain Alcohols and Volatile Fatty Acids Using a Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor

Authors: Mabtho Moreroa-Monyelo, Grace Ijoma, Rosina Nkuna, Tonderayi Matambo


A moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) was used for the bioremediation of high strength chemical oxygen demand (COD) Fisher-Tropsch (FT) wastewater. The aerobic MBBR system was operated over 60 days. For metagenomics profile assessment of the targeted 16S sequence of bacteria involved in the bioremediation of the chemical compounds, sludge samples were collected every second day of operation. Parameters such as pH and COD were measured daily to compare the system efficiency as the changedin microbial diversity progressed. The study revealed that pH was a contributing factor to microbial diversity, which further affected the efficiency of the MBBR system. The highest COD removal rate of 86.4% was achieved at pH 8.3. It was observed that when there was more, A higher bacterial diversity led to an improvement in the reduction of COD. Furthermore, an OTUof 4530 was obtained, which were divided into 12 phyla, 27 classes, 44 orders, 74 families, and 138 genera across all sludge samples from the MBBR. A determination of the relative abundance of microorganisms at phyla level indicates that the most abundant phylum on day it was Firmicutes (50%); thereafter, the most abundant phylum changed toProteobacteria.

Keywords: biodegradation, fischer-tropsch wastewater, metagenomics, moving bed biofilm reactor

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23 Predicting Potential Protein Therapeutic Candidates from the Gut Microbiome

Authors: Prasanna Ramachandran, Kareem Graham, Helena Kiefel, Sunit Jain, Todd DeSantis


Microbes that reside inside the mammalian GI tract, commonly referred to as the gut microbiome, have been shown to have therapeutic effects in animal models of disease. We hypothesize that specific proteins produced by these microbes are responsible for this activity and may be used directly as therapeutics. To speed up the discovery of these key proteins from the big-data metagenomics, we have applied machine learning techniques. Using amino acid sequences of known epitopes and their corresponding binding partners, protein interaction descriptors (PID) were calculated, making a positive interaction set. A negative interaction dataset was calculated using sequences of proteins known not to interact with these same binding partners. Using Random Forest and positive and negative PID, a machine learning model was trained and used to predict interacting versus non-interacting proteins. Furthermore, the continuous variable, cosine similarity in the interaction descriptors was used to rank bacterial therapeutic candidates. Laboratory binding assays were conducted to test the candidates for their potential as therapeutics. Results from binding assays reveal the accuracy of the machine learning prediction and are subsequently used to further improve the model.

Keywords: protein-interactions, machine-learning, metagenomics, microbiome

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22 Data Analysis for Taxonomy Prediction and Annotation of 16S rRNA Gene Sequences from Metagenome Data

Authors: Suchithra V., Shreedhanya, Kavya Menon, Vidya Niranjan


Skin metagenomics has a wide range of applications with direct relevance to the health of the organism. It gives us insight to the diverse community of microorganisms (the microbiome) harbored on the skin. In the recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that the interaction between skin microbiome and the human body plays a prominent role in immune system development, cancer development, disease pathology, and many other biological implications. Next Generation Sequencing has led to faster and better understanding of environmental organisms and their mutual interactions. This project is studying the human skin microbiome of different individuals having varied skin conditions. Bacterial 16S rRNA data of skin microbiome is downloaded from SRA toolkit provided by NCBI to perform metagenomics analysis. Twelve samples are selected with two controls, and 3 different categories, i.e., sex (male/female), skin type (moist/intermittently moist/sebaceous) and occlusion (occluded/intermittently occluded/exposed). Quality of the data is increased using Cutadapt, and its analysis is done using FastQC. USearch, a tool used to analyze an NGS data, provides a suitable platform to obtain taxonomy classification and abundance of bacteria from the metagenome data. The statistical tool used for analyzing the USearch result is METAGENassist. The results revealed that the top three abundant organisms found were: Prevotella, Corynebacterium, and Anaerococcus. Prevotella is known to be an infectious bacterium found on wound, tooth cavity, etc. Corynebacterium and Anaerococcus are opportunist bacteria responsible for skin odor. This result infers that Prevotella thrives easily in sebaceous skin conditions. Therefore it is better to undergo intermittently occluded treatment such as applying ointments, creams, etc. to treat wound for sebaceous skin type. Exposing the wound should be avoided as it leads to an increase in Prevotella abundance. Moist skin type individuals can opt for occluded or intermittently occluded treatment as they have shown to decrease the abundance of bacteria during treatment.

Keywords: bacterial 16S rRNA , next generation sequencing, skin metagenomics, skin microbiome, taxonomy

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21 Microbial Biogeography of Greek Olive Varieties Assessed by Amplicon-Based Metagenomics Analysis

Authors: Lena Payati, Maria Kazou, Effie Tsakalidou


Table olives are one of the most popular fermented vegetables worldwide, which along with olive oil, have a crucial role in the world economy. They are highly appreciated by the consumers for their characteristic taste and pleasant aromas, while several health and nutritional benefits have been reported as well. Until recently, microbial biogeography, i.e., the study of microbial diversity over time and space, has been mainly associated with wine. However, nowadays, the term 'terroir' has been extended to other crops and food products so as to link the geographical origin and environmental conditions to quality aspects of fermented foods. Taking the above into consideration, the present study focuses on the microbial fingerprinting of the most important olive varieties of Greece with the state-of-the-art amplicon-based metagenomics analysis. Towards this, in 2019, 61 samples from 38 different olive varieties were collected at the final stage of ripening from 13 well spread geographical regions in Greece. For the metagenomics analysis, total DNA was extracted from the olive samples, and the 16S rRNA gene and ITS DNA region were sequenced and analyzed using bioinformatics tools for the identification of bacterial and yeasts/fungal diversity, respectively. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) was also performed for data clustering based on the average microbial composition of all samples from each region of origin. According to the composition, results obtained, when samples were analyzed separately, the majority of both bacteria (such as Pantoea, Enterobacter, Roserbergiella, and Pseudomonas) and yeasts/fungi (such as Aureobasidium, Debaromyces, Candida, and Cladosporium) genera identified were found in all 61 samples. Even though interesting differences were observed at the relative abundance level of the identified genera, the bacterial genus Pantoea and the yeast/fungi genus Aureobasidium were the dominant ones in 35 and 40 samples, respectively. Of note, olive samples collected from the same region had similar fingerprint (genera identified and relative abundance level) regardless of the variety, indicating a potential association between the relative abundance of certain taxa and the geographical region. When samples were grouped by region of origin, distinct bacterial profiles per region were observed, which was also evident from the PCA analysis. This was not the case for the yeast/fungi profiles since 10 out of the 13 regions were grouped together mainly due to the dominance of the genus Aureobasidium. A second cluster was formed for the islands Crete and Rhodes, both of which are located in the Southeast Aegean Sea. These two regions clustered together mainly due to the identification of the genus Toxicocladosporium in relatively high abundances. Finally, the Agrinio region was separated from the others as it showed a completely different microbial fingerprinting. However, due to the limited number of olive samples from some regions, a subsequent PCA analysis with more samples from these regions is expected to yield in a more clear clustering. The present study is part of a bigger project, the first of its kind in Greece, with the ultimate goal to analyze a larger set of olive samples of different varieties and from different regions in Greece in order to have a reliable olives’ microbial biogeography.

Keywords: amplicon-based metagenomics analysis, bacteria, microbial biogeography, olive microbiota, yeasts/fungi

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20 TAXAPRO, A Streamlined Pipeline to Analyze Shotgun Metagenomes

Authors: Sofia Sehli, Zainab El Ouafi, Casey Eddington, Soumaya Jbara, Kasambula Arthur Shem, Islam El Jaddaoui, Ayorinde Afolayan, Olaitan I. Awe, Allissa Dillman, Hassan Ghazal


The ability to promptly sequence whole genomes at a relatively low cost has revolutionized the way we study the microbiome. Microbiologists are no longer limited to studying what can be grown in a laboratory and instead are given the opportunity to rapidly identify the makeup of microbial communities in a wide variety of environments. Analyzing whole genome sequencing (WGS) data is a complex process that involves multiple moving parts and might be rather unintuitive for scientists that don’t typically work with this type of data. Thus, to help lower the barrier for less-computationally inclined individuals, TAXAPRO was developed at the first Omics Codeathon held virtually by the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) in June 2021. TAXAPRO is an advanced metagenomics pipeline that accurately assembles organelle genomes from whole-genome sequencing data. TAXAPRO seamlessly combines WGS analysis tools to create a pipeline that automatically processes raw WGS data and presents organism abundance information in both a tabular and graphical format. TAXAPRO was evaluated using COVID-19 patient gut microbiome data. Analysis performed by TAXAPRO demonstrated a high abundance of Clostridia and Bacteroidia genera and a low abundance of Proteobacteria genera relative to others in the gut microbiome of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, consistent with the original findings derived using a different analysis methodology. This provides crucial evidence that the TAXAPRO workflow dispenses reliable organism abundance information overnight without the hassle of performing the analysis manually.

Keywords: metagenomics, shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis, COVID-19, pipeline, bioinformatics

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19 Scalable and Accurate Detection of Pathogens from Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing

Authors: Janos Juhasz, Sandor Pongor, Balazs Ligeti


Next-generation sequencing, especially whole genome shotgun sequencing, is becoming a common approach to gain insight into the microbiomes in a culture-independent way, even in clinical practice. It does not only give us information about the species composition of an environmental sample but opens the possibility to detect antimicrobial resistance and novel, or currently unknown, pathogens. Accurately and reliably detecting the microbial strains is a challenging task. Here we present a sensitive approach for detecting pathogens in metagenomics samples with special regard to detecting novel variants of known pathogens. We have developed a pipeline that uses fast, short read aligner programs (i.e., Bowtie2/BWA) and comprehensive nucleotide databases. Taxonomic binning is based on the lowest common ancestor (LCA) principle; each read is assigned to a taxon, covering the most significantly hit taxa. This approach helps in balancing between sensitivity and running time. The program was tested both on experimental and synthetic data. The results implicate that our method performs as good as the state-of-the-art BLAST-based ones, furthermore, in some cases, it even proves to be better, while running two orders magnitude faster. It is sensitive and capable of identifying taxa being present only in small abundance. Moreover, it needs two orders of magnitude less reads to complete the identification than MetaPhLan2 does. We analyzed an experimental anthrax dataset (B. anthracis strain BA104). The majority of the reads (96.50%) was classified as Bacillus anthracis, a small portion, 1.2%, was classified as other species from the Bacillus genus. We demonstrate that the evaluation of high-throughput sequencing data is feasible in a reasonable time with good classification accuracy.

Keywords: metagenomics, taxonomy binning, pathogens, microbiome, B. anthracis

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18 Metagenomic analysis of Irish cattle faecal samples using Oxford Nanopore MinION Next Generation Sequencing

Authors: Niamh Higgins, Dawn Howard


The Irish agri-food sector is of major importance to Ireland’s manufacturing sector and to the Irish economy through employment and the exporting of animal products worldwide. Infectious diseases and parasites have an impact on farm animal health causing profitability and productivity to be affected. For the sustainability of Irish dairy farming, there must be the highest standard of animal health. There can be a lack of information in accounting for > 1% of complete microbial diversity in an environment. There is the tendency of culture-based methods of microbial identification to overestimate the prevalence of species which grow easily on an agar surface. There is a need for new technologies to address these issues to assist with animal health. Metagenomic approaches provide information on both the whole genome and transcriptome present through DNA sequencing of total DNA from environmental samples producing high determination of functional and taxonomic information. Nanopore Next Generation Technologies have the ability to be powerful sequencing technologies. They provide high throughput, low material requirements and produce ultra-long reads, simplifying the experimental process. The aim of this study is to use a metagenomics approach to analyze dairy cattle faecal samples using the Oxford Nanopore MinION Next Generation Sequencer and to establish an in-house pipeline for metagenomic characterization of complex samples. Faecal samples will be obtained from Irish dairy farms, DNA extracted and the MinION will be used for sequencing, followed by bioinformatics analysis. Of particular interest, will be the parasite Buxtonella sulcata, which there has been little research on and which there is no research on its presence on Irish dairy farms. Preliminary results have shown the ability of the MinION to produce hundreds of reads in a relatively short time frame of eight hours. The faecal samples were obtained from 90 dairy cows on a Galway farm. The results from Oxford Nanopore ‘What’s in my pot’ (WIMP) using the Epi2me workflow, show that from a total of 926 classified reads, 87% were from the Kingdom Bacteria, 10% were from the Kingdom Eukaryota, 3% were from the Kingdom Archaea and < 1% were from the Kingdom Viruses. The most prevalent bacteria were those from the Genus Acholeplasma (71 reads), Bacteroides (35 reads), Clostridium (33 reads), Acinetobacter (20 reads). The most prevalent species present were those from the Genus Acholeplasma and included Acholeplasma laidlawii (39 reads) and Acholeplasma brassicae (26 reads). The preliminary results show the ability of the MinION for the identification of microorganisms to species level coming from a complex sample. With ongoing optimization of the pipe-line, the number of classified reads are likely to increase. Metagenomics has the potential in animal health for diagnostics of microorganisms present on farms. This would support wprevention rather than a cure approach as is outlined in the DAFMs National Farmed Animal Health Strategy 2017-2022.

Keywords: animal health, buxtonella sulcata, infectious disease, irish dairy cattle, metagenomics, minION, next generation sequencing

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17 Microbial Dark Matter Analysis Using 16S rRNA Gene Metagenomics Sequences

Authors: Hana Barak, Alex Sivan, Ariel Kushmaro


Microorganisms are the most diverse and abundant life forms on Earth and account for a large portion of the Earth’s biomass and biodiversity. To date though, our knowledge regarding microbial life is lacking, as it is based mainly on information from cultivated organisms. Indeed, microbiologists have borrowed from astrophysics and termed the ‘uncultured microbial majority’ as ‘microbial dark matter’. The realization of how diverse and unexplored microorganisms are, actually stems from recent advances in molecular biology, and in particular from novel methods for sequencing microbial small subunit ribosomal RNA genes directly from environmental samples termed next-generation sequencing (NGS). This has led us to use NGS that generates several gigabases of sequencing data in a single experimental run, to identify and classify environmental samples of microorganisms. In metagenomics sequencing analysis (both 16S and shotgun), sequences are compared to reference databases that contain only small part of the existing microorganisms and therefore their taxonomy assignment may reveal groups of unknown microorganisms or origins. These unknowns, or the ‘microbial sequences dark matter’, are usually ignored in spite of their great importance. The goal of this work was to develop an improved bioinformatics method that enables more complete analyses of the microbial communities in numerous environments. Therefore, NGS was used to identify previously unknown microorganisms from three different environments (industrials wastewater, Negev Desert’s rocks and water wells at the Arava valley). 16S rRNA gene metagenome analysis of the microorganisms from those three environments produce about ~4 million reads for 75 samples. Between 0.1-12% of the sequences in each sample were tagged as ‘Unassigned’. Employing relatively simple methodology for resequencing of original gDNA samples through Sanger or MiSeq Illumina with specific primers, this study demonstrates that the mysterious ‘Unassigned’ group apparently contains sequences of candidate phyla. Those unknown sequences can be located on a phylogenetic tree and thus provide a better understanding of the ‘sequences dark matter’ and its role in the research of microbial communities and diversity. Studying this ‘dark matter’ will extend the existing databases and could reveal the hidden potential of the ‘microbial dark matter’.

Keywords: bacteria, bioinformatics, dark matter, Next Generation Sequencing, unknown

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16 Metagenomics Analysis of Bacteria in Sorghum Using next Generation Sequencing

Authors: Kedibone Masenya, Memory Tekere, Jasper Rees


Sorghum is an important cereal crop in the world. In particular, it has attracted breeders due to capacity to serve as food, feed, fiber and bioenergy crop. Like any other plant, sorghum hosts a variety of microbes, which can either, have a neutral, negative and positive influence on the plant. In the current study, regions (V3/V4) of 16 S rRNA were targeted to extensively assess bacterial multitrophic interactions in the phyllosphere of sorghum. The results demonstrated that the presence of a pathogen has a significant effect on the endophytic bacterial community. Understanding these interactions is key to develop new strategies for plant protection.

Keywords: bacteria, multitrophic, sorghum, target sequencing

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15 Gut Microbial Dynamics in a Mouse Model of Inflammation-Linked Carcinogenesis as a Result of Diet Supplementation with Specific Mushroom Extracts

Authors: Alvarez M., Chapela M. J., Balboa E., Rubianes D., Sinde E., Fernandez de Ana C., Rodríguez-Blanco A.


The gut microbiota plays an important role as gut inflammation could contribute to colorectal cancer development; however, this role is still not fully understood, and tools able to prevent this progression are yet to be developed. The main objective of this study was to monitor the effects of a mushroom extracts formulation in gut microbial community composition of an Azoxymethane (AOM)/Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) mice model of inflammation-linked carcinogenesis. For the in vivo study, 41 adult male mice of the C57BL / 6 strain were obtained. 36 of them have been induced in a state of colon carcinogenesis by a single intraperitoneal administration of AOM at a dose of 12.5 mg/kg; the control group animals received instead of the same volume of 0.9% saline. DSS is an extremely toxic polysaccharide sulfate that causes chronic inflammation of the colon mucosa, favoring the appearance of severe colitis and the production of tumors induced by AOM. Induction by AOM/DSS is an interesting platform for chemopreventive intervention studies. This time the model was used to monitor gut microbiota changes as a result of supplementation with a specific mushroom extracts formulation previously shown to have prebiotic activity. The animals have been divided into three groups: (i) Cancer + mushroom extracts formulation experimental group: to which the MicoDigest2.0 mushroom extracts formulation developed by Hifas da Terra S.L has been administered dissolved in drinking water at an estimated concentration of 100 mg / ml. (ii) Control group of animals with Cancer: to which normal water has been administered without any type of treatment. (iii) Control group of healthy animals: these are the animals that have not been induced cancer or have not received any treatment in drinking water. This treatment has been maintained for a period of 3 months, after which the animals were sacrificed to obtain tissues that were subsequently analyzed to verify the effects of the mushroom extract formulation. A microbiological analysis has been carried out to compare the microbial communities present in the intestines of the mice belonging to each of the study groups. For this, the methodology of massive sequencing by molecular analysis of the 16S gene has been used (Ion Torrent technology). Initially, DNA extraction and metagenomics libraries were prepared using the 16S Metagenomics kit, always following the manufacturer's instructions. This kit amplifies 7 of the 9 hypervariable regions of the 16S gene that will then be sequenced. Finally, the data obtained will be compared with a database that makes it possible to determine the degree of similarity of the sequences obtained with a wide range of bacterial genomes. Results obtained showed that, similarly to certain natural compounds preventing colorectal tumorigenesis, a mushroom formulation enriched the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla and depleted Bacteroidetes. Therefore, it was demonstrated that the consumption of the mushroom extracts’ formulation developed could promote the recovery of the microbial balance that is disrupted in the mice model of carcinogenesis. More preclinical and clinical studies are needed to validate this promising approach.

Keywords: carcinogenesis, microbiota, mushroom extracts, inflammation

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14 Analysis of Taxonomic Compositions, Metabolic Pathways and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Fish Gut Microbiome by Shotgun Metagenomics

Authors: Anuj Tyagi, Balwinder Singh, Naveen Kumar B. T., Niraj K. Singh


Characterization of diverse microbial communities in specific environment plays a crucial role in the better understanding of their functional relationship with the ecosystem. It is now well established that gut microbiome of fish is not the simple replication of microbiota of surrounding local habitat, and extensive species, dietary, physiological and metabolic variations in fishes may have a significant impact on its composition. Moreover, overuse of antibiotics in human, veterinary and aquaculture medicine has led to rapid emergence and propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the aquatic environment. Microbial communities harboring specific ARGs not only get a preferential edge during selective antibiotic exposure but also possess the significant risk of ARGs transfer to other non-resistance bacteria within the confined environments. This phenomenon may lead to the emergence of habitat-specific microbial resistomes and subsequent emergence of virulent antibiotic-resistant pathogens with severe fish and consumer health consequences. In this study, gut microbiota of freshwater carp (Labeo rohita) was investigated by shotgun metagenomics to understand its taxonomic composition and functional capabilities. Metagenomic DNA, extracted from the fish gut, was subjected to sequencing on Illumina NextSeq to generate paired-end (PE) 2 x 150 bp sequencing reads. After the QC of raw sequencing data by Trimmomatic, taxonomic analysis by Kraken2 taxonomic sequence classification system revealed the presence of 36 phyla, 326 families and 985 genera in the fish gut microbiome. At phylum level, Proteobacteria accounted for more than three-fourths of total bacterial populations followed by Actinobacteria (14%) and Cyanobacteria (3%). Commonly used probiotic bacteria (Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Lactococcus) were found to be very less prevalent in fish gut. After sequencing data assembly by MEGAHIT v1.1.2 assembler and PROKKA automated analysis pipeline, pathway analysis revealed the presence of 1,608 Metacyc pathways in the fish gut microbiome. Biosynthesis pathways were found to be the most dominant (51%) followed by degradation (39%), energy-metabolism (4%) and fermentation (2%). Almost one-third (33%) of biosynthesis pathways were involved in the synthesis of secondary metabolites. Metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of 35 antibiotic types were also present, and these accounted for 5% of overall metabolic pathways in the fish gut microbiome. Fifty-one different types of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) belonging to 15 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene families and conferring resistance against 24 antibiotic types were detected in fish gut. More than 90% ARGs in fish gut microbiome were against beta-lactams (penicillins, cephalosporins, penems, and monobactams). Resistance against tetracycline, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, and phenicols ranged from 0.7% to 1.3%. Some of the ARGs for multi-drug resistance were also found to be located on sequences of plasmid origin. The presence of pathogenic bacteria and ARGs on plasmid sequences suggested the potential risk due to horizontal gene transfer in the confined gut environment.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance, fish gut, metabolic pathways, microbial diversity

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13 A Comprehensive Review on Health Hazards and Challenges for Microbial Remediation of Persistent Organic Pollutants

Authors: Nisha Gaur, K.Narasimhulu, Pydi Setty Yelamarthy


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have become a great concern due to their toxicity, transformation and bioaccumulation property. Therefore, this review highlights the types, sources, classification health hazards and mobility of organochlorine pesticides, industrial chemicals and their by-products. Moreover, with the signing of Aarhus and Stockholm convention on POPs there is an increased demand to identify and characterise such chemicals from industries and environment which are toxic in nature or to existing biota. Due to long life, persistent nature they enter into body through food and transfer to all tropic levels of ecological unit. In addition, POPs are lipophilic in nature and accumulate in lipid-containing tissues and organs which further indicates the adverse symptoms after the threshold limit. Though, several potential enzymes are reported from various categories of microorganism and their interaction with POPs may break down the complex compounds either through biodegradation, biostimulation or bioaugmentation process, however technological advancement and human activities have also indicated to explore the possibilities for the role of genetically modified organisms and metagenomics and metabolomics. Though many studies have been done to develop low cost, effective and reliable method for detection, determination and removal of ultra-trace concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) but due to insufficient knowledge and non-feasibility of technique, the safe management of POPs is still a global challenge.

Keywords: persistent organic pollutants, bioaccumulation, biostimulation, microbial remediation

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12 Illumina MiSeq Sequencing for Bacteria Identification on Audio-Visual Materials

Authors: Tereza Branyšová, Martina Kračmarová, Kateřina Demnerová, Michal Ďurovič, Hana Stiborová


Microbial deterioration threatens all objects of cultural heritage, including audio-visual materials. Fungi are commonly known to be the main factor in audio-visual material deterioration. However, although being neglected, bacteria also play a significant role. In addition to microbial contamination of materials, it is also essential to analyse air as a possible contamination source. This work aims to identify bacterial species in the archives of the Czech Republic that occur on audio-visual materials as well as in the air in the archives. For sampling purposes, the smears from the materials were taken by sterile polyurethane sponges, and the air was collected using a MAS-100 aeroscope. Metagenomic DNA from all collected samples was immediately isolated and stored at -20 °C. DNA library for the 16S rRNA gene was prepared using two-step PCR and specific primers and the concentration step was included due to meagre yields of the DNA. After that, the samples were sent to the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, for Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Subsequently, the analysis of the sequences was conducted in R software. The obtained sequences were assigned to the corresponding bacterial species using the DADA2 package. The impact of air contamination and the impact of different photosensitive layers that audio-visual materials were made of, such as gelatine, albumen, and collodion, were evaluated. As a next step, we will take a deeper focus on air contamination. We will select an appropriate culture-dependent approach along with a culture-independent approach to observe a metabolically active species in the air. Acknowledgment: This project is supported by grant no. DG18P02OVV062 of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Keywords: cultural heritage, Illumina MiSeq, metagenomics, microbial identification

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11 Sulfur-Containing Diet Shift Hydrogen Metabolism and Reduce Methane Emission and Modulated Gut Microbiome in Goats

Authors: Tsegay Teklebrhan Gebremariam, Zhiliang, Arjan Jonker


The study investigated that using corn gluten (CG) instead of cornmeal (CM) increased dietary sulfur shifted H₂ metabolism from methanogenesis to alternative sink and modulated microbiome in the rumen as well as hindgut segments of goats. Ruminal fermentation, CH₄ emissions and microbial abundance in goats (n = 24). The experiment was performed using a randomized block design with two dietary treatments (CM and CG with 400 g/kg DM each). Goats in CG increased sulfur, NDF and CP intake and decreased starch intake as compared with those in CM. Goats that received CG diet had decreased dissolved hydrogen (dH₂) (P = 0.01) and dissolved methane yield and emission (dCH₄) (P = 0.001), while increased dH₂S both in the rumen and hindgut segments than those fed CM. Goats fed CG had higher (p < 0.01) gene copies of microbiota and cellulolytic bacteria, whereas starch utilizing bacterial species were less in the rumen and hindgut than those fed CM. Higher (P < 0.05) methanogenic diversity and abundances of Methanimicrococcus and Methanomicrobium were observed in goats that consumed CG, whilst containing lower Methanobrevibacter populations than those receiving CM. The study suggested that goats fed corn gluten improved the gene copies of microbiota and fibrolytic bacterial species while reducing starch utilizing species in the rumen and hindgut segments as compared with that fed cornmeal. Goats consuming corn gluten had a more enriched methanogenic diversity and reduced Methanobrevibacter, a contributor to CH₄ emissions, as compared with goats fed CM. Corn gluten could be used as an alternative feed to decrease the enteric CH₄ emission in ruminant production.

Keywords: dissolved gasses, methanogenesis, microbial community, metagenomics

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10 Metagenomics-Based Molecular Epidemiology of Viral Diseases

Authors: Vyacheslav Furtak, Merja Roivainen, Olga Mirochnichenko, Majid Laassri, Bella Bidzhieva, Tatiana Zagorodnyaya, Vladimir Chizhikov, Konstantin Chumakov


Molecular epidemiology and environmental surveillance are parts of a rational strategy to control infectious diseases. They have been widely used in the worldwide campaign to eradicate poliomyelitis, which otherwise would be complicated by the inability to rapidly respond to outbreaks and determine sources of the infection. The conventional scheme involves isolation of viruses from patients and the environment, followed by their identification by nucleotide sequences analysis to determine phylogenetic relationships. This is a tedious and time-consuming process that yields definitive results when it may be too late to implement countermeasures. Because of the difficulty of high-throughput full-genome sequencing, most such studies are conducted by sequencing only capsid genes or their parts. Therefore the important information about the contribution of other parts of the genome and inter- and intra-species recombination to viral evolution is not captured. Here we propose a new approach based on the rapid concentration of sewage samples with tangential flow filtration followed by deep sequencing and reconstruction of nucleotide sequences of viruses present in the samples. The entire nucleic acids content of each sample is sequenced, thus preserving in digital format the complete spectrum of viruses. A set of rapid algorithms was developed to separate deep sequence reads into discrete populations corresponding to each virus and assemble them into full-length consensus contigs, as well as to generate a complete profile of sequence heterogeneities in each of them. This provides an effective approach to study molecular epidemiology and evolution of natural viral populations.

Keywords: poliovirus, eradication, environmental surveillance, laboratory diagnosis

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9 Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing

Authors: Alisa Kazarina, Guntis Gerhards, Elina Petersone-Gordina, Ilva Pole, Viktorija Igumnova, Janis Kimsis, Valentina Capligina, Renate Ranka


Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene, ancient human microbiome, archaeology, bioinformatics, genomics, microbiome, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing

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8 Molecular Approach for the Detection of Lactic Acid Bacteria in the Kenyan Spontaneously Fermented Milk, Mursik

Authors: John Masani Nduko, Joseph Wafula Matofari


Many spontaneously fermented milk products are produced in Kenya, where they are integral to the human diet and play a central role in enhancing food security and income generation via small-scale enterprises. Fermentation enhances product properties such as taste, aroma, shelf-life, safety, texture, and nutritional value. Some of these products have demonstrated therapeutic and probiotic effects although recent reports have linked some to death, biotoxin infections, and esophageal cancer. These products are mostly processed from poor quality raw materials under unhygienic conditions resulting to inconsistent product quality and limited shelf-lives. Though very popular, research on their processing technologies is low, and none of the products has been produced under controlled conditions using starter cultures. To modernize the processing technologies for these products, our study aims at describing the microbiology and biochemistry of a representative Kenyan spontaneously fermented milk product, Mursik using modern biotechnology (DNA sequencing) and their chemical composition. Moreover, co-creation processes reflecting stakeholders’ experiences on traditional fermented milk production technologies and utilization, ideals and senses of value, which will allow the generation of products based on common ground for rapid progress will be discussed. Knowledge of the value of clean starting raw material will be emphasized, the need for the definition of fermentation parameters highlighted, and standard equipment employment to attain controlled fermentation discussed. This presentation will review the available information regarding traditional fermented milk (Mursik) and highlight our current research work on the application of molecular approaches (metagenomics) for the valorization of Mursik production process through starter culture/ probiotic strains isolation and identification, and quality and safety aspects of the product. The importance of the research and future research areas on the same subject will also be highlighted.

Keywords: lactic acid bacteria, high throughput biotechnology, spontaneous fermentation, Mursik

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7 Towards End-To-End Disease Prediction from Raw Metagenomic Data

Authors: Maxence Queyrel, Edi Prifti, Alexandre Templier, Jean-Daniel Zucker


Analysis of the human microbiome using metagenomic sequencing data has demonstrated high ability in discriminating various human diseases. Raw metagenomic sequencing data require multiple complex and computationally heavy bioinformatics steps prior to data analysis. Such data contain millions of short sequences read from the fragmented DNA sequences and stored as fastq files. Conventional processing pipelines consist in multiple steps including quality control, filtering, alignment of sequences against genomic catalogs (genes, species, taxonomic levels, functional pathways, etc.). These pipelines are complex to use, time consuming and rely on a large number of parameters that often provide variability and impact the estimation of the microbiome elements. Training Deep Neural Networks directly from raw sequencing data is a promising approach to bypass some of the challenges associated with mainstream bioinformatics pipelines. Most of these methods use the concept of word and sentence embeddings that create a meaningful and numerical representation of DNA sequences, while extracting features and reducing the dimensionality of the data. In this paper we present an end-to-end approach that classifies patients into disease groups directly from raw metagenomic reads: metagenome2vec. This approach is composed of four steps (i) generating a vocabulary of k-mers and learning their numerical embeddings; (ii) learning DNA sequence (read) embeddings; (iii) identifying the genome from which the sequence is most likely to come and (iv) training a multiple instance learning classifier which predicts the phenotype based on the vector representation of the raw data. An attention mechanism is applied in the network so that the model can be interpreted, assigning a weight to the influence of the prediction for each genome. Using two public real-life data-sets as well a simulated one, we demonstrated that this original approach reaches high performance, comparable with the state-of-the-art methods applied directly on processed data though mainstream bioinformatics workflows. These results are encouraging for this proof of concept work. We believe that with further dedication, the DNN models have the potential to surpass mainstream bioinformatics workflows in disease classification tasks.

Keywords: deep learning, disease prediction, end-to-end machine learning, metagenomics, multiple instance learning, precision medicine

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6 Metagenomic Assessment of the Effects of Genetically Modified Crops on Microbial Ecology and Physicochemical Properties of Soil

Authors: Falana Yetunde Olaitan, Ijah U. J. J, Solebo Shakirat O.


Genetically modified crops are already phenomenally successful and are grown worldwide in more than eighteen countries on more than 67 million hectares. Nigeria, in October 2018, approved Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton and maize; therefore, the need to carry out environmental risk assessment studies. A total of 15 4L octagonal ceramic pots were filled with 4kg of soil and placed on the bench in 2 rows of 10 pots each and the 3rd row of 5 pots, 1st-row pots were used to plant GM cotton seeds, while the 2nd-row pots were used for non-GM cotton seeds and the 3rd row of 5 pots served as control, all in the screen house. Soil samples for metagenomic DNA extraction were collected at random and at the monthly interval after planting at a distance of 2mm from the plant’s root and at a depth of 10cm using a sterile spatula. Soil samples for physicochemical analysis were collected before planting and after harvesting the GM and non-GM crops as well as from the control soil. The DNA was extracted, quantified and sequenced; Sample 1A (DNA from GM cotton Soil at 1st interval) gave the lowest sequence read with 0.853M while sample 2B (DNA from GM cotton Soil at 2nd interval) gave the highest with 5.785M, others gave between 1.8M and 4.7M. The samples treatment were grouped into four, Group 1 (GM cotton soil from 1 to 3 intervals) had between 800,000 and 5,700,000 strains of microbes (SOM), Group 2 (non GM cotton soil from 1 to 3 intervals) had between 1,400,600 and 4,200,000 SOM, Group 3 (control soil) had between 900,000 and 3,600,000 SOM and Group 4 (initial soil) had between 3,700,000 and 4,000,000 SOM. The microbes observed were predominantly bacteria (including archaea), fungi, dark matter alongside protists and phages. The predominant bacterial groups were the Terrabacteria (Bacillus funiculus, Bacillus sp.), the Proteobacteria (Microvirga massiliensis, sphingomonas sp.) and the Archaea (Nitrososphaera sp.), while the fungi were Aspergillus fischeri and Fusarium falciforme. The comparative analysis between groups was done using JACCARD PERMANOVA beta diversity analysis at P-value not more than 0.76 and there was no significant pair found. The pH for initial, GM cotton, non-GM cotton and control soil were 6.28, 6.26, 7.25, 8.26 and the percentage moisture was 0.63, 0.78, 0.89 and 0.82, respectively, while the percentage Nitrogen was observed to be 17.79, 1.14, 1.10 and 0.56 respectively. Other parameters include, varying concentrations of Potassium (0.46, 1,284.47, 1,785.48, 1,252.83 mg/kg) and Phosphorus (18.76, 17.76, 16.87, 15.23 mg/kg) were recorded for the four treatments respectively. The soil consisted mainly of silt (32.09 to 34.66%) and clay (58.89 to 60.23%), reflecting the soil texture as silty – clay. The results were then tested with ANOVA at less than 0.05 P-value and no pair was found to be significant as well. The results suggest that the GM crops have no significant effect on microbial ecology and physicochemical properties of the soil and, in turn, no direct or indirect effects on human health.

Keywords: genetically modified crop, microbial ecology, physicochemical properties, metagenomics, DNA, soil

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5 Effect of Chemical Fertilizer on Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria in Wheat

Authors: Tessa E. Reid, Vanessa N. Kavamura, Maider Abadie, Adriana Torres-Ballesteros, Mark Pawlett, Ian M. Clark, Jim Harris, Tim Mauchline


The deleterious effect of chemical fertilizer on rhizobacterial diversity has been well documented using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and predictive metagenomics. Biofertilization is a cost-effective and sustainable alternative; improving strategies depends on isolating beneficial soil microorganisms. Although culturing is widespread in biofertilization, it is unknown whether the composition of cultured isolates closely mirrors native beneficial rhizobacterial populations. This study aimed to determine the relative abundance of culturable plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) isolates within total soil DNA and how potential PGPR populations respond to chemical fertilization in a commercial wheat variety. It was hypothesized that PGPR will be reduced in fertilized relative to unfertilized wheat. Triticum aestivum cv. Cadenza seeds were sown in a nutrient depleted agricultural soil in pots treated with and without nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium (NPK) fertilizer. Rhizosphere and rhizoplane samples were collected at flowering stage (10 weeks) and analyzed by culture-independent (amplicon sequence variance (ASV) analysis of total rhizobacterial DNA) and -dependent (isolation using growth media) techniques. Rhizosphere- and rhizoplane-derived microbiota culture collections were tested for plant growth-promoting traits using functional bioassays. In general, fertilizer addition decreased the proportion of nutrient-solubilizing bacteria (nitrate, phosphate, potassium, iron and, zinc) isolated from rhizocompartments in wheat, whereas salt tolerant bacteria were not affected. A PGPR database was created from isolate 16S rRNA gene sequences and searched against total soil DNA, revealing that 1.52% of total community ASVs were identified as culturable PGPR isolates. Bioassays identified a higher proportion of PGPR in non-fertilized samples (rhizosphere (49%) and rhizoplane (91%)) compared to fertilized samples (rhizosphere (21%) and rhizoplane (19%)) which constituted approximately 1.95% and 1.25% in non-fertilized and fertilized total community DNA, respectively. The analyses of 16S rRNA genes and deduced functional profiles provide an in-depth understanding of the responses of bacterial communities to fertilizer; this study suggests that rhizobacteria, which potentially benefit plants by mobilizing insoluble nutrients in soil, are reduced by chemical fertilizer addition. This knowledge will benefit the development of more targeted biofertilization strategies.

Keywords: bacteria, fertilizer, microbiome, rhizoplane, rhizosphere

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4 Changing the Landscape of Fungal Genomics: New Trends

Authors: Igor V. Grigoriev


Understanding of biological processes encoded in fungi is instrumental in addressing future food, feed, and energy demands of the growing human population. Genomics is a powerful and quickly evolving tool to understand these processes. The Fungal Genomics Program of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) partners with researchers around the world to explore fungi in several large scale genomics projects, changing the fungal genomics landscape. The key trends of these changes include: (i) rapidly increasing scale of sequencing and analysis, (ii) developing approaches to go beyond culturable fungi and explore fungal ‘dark matter,’ or unculturables, and (iii) functional genomics and multi-omics data integration. Power of comparative genomics has been recently demonstrated in several JGI projects targeting mycorrhizae, plant pathogens, wood decay fungi, and sugar fermenting yeasts. The largest JGI project ‘1000 Fungal Genomes’ aims at exploring the diversity across the Fungal Tree of Life in order to better understand fungal evolution and to build a catalogue of genes, enzymes, and pathways for biotechnological applications. At this point, at least 65% of over 700 known families have one or more reference genomes sequenced, enabling metagenomics studies of microbial communities and their interactions with plants. For many of the remaining families no representative species are available from culture collections. To sequence genomes of unculturable fungi two approaches have been developed: (a) sequencing DNA from fruiting bodies of ‘macro’ and (b) single cell genomics using fungal spores. The latter has been tested using zoospores from the early diverging fungi and resulted in several near-complete genomes from underexplored branches of the Fungal Tree, including the first genomes of Zoopagomycotina. Genome sequence serves as a reference for transcriptomics studies, the first step towards functional genomics. In the JGI fungal mini-ENCODE project transcriptomes of the model fungus Neurospora crassa grown on a spectrum of carbon sources have been collected to build regulatory gene networks. Epigenomics is another tool to understand gene regulation and recently introduced single molecule sequencing platforms not only provide better genome assemblies but can also detect DNA modifications. For example, 6mC methylome was surveyed across many diverse fungi and the highest among Eukaryota levels of 6mC methylation has been reported. Finally, data production at such scale requires data integration to enable efficient data analysis. Over 700 fungal genomes and other -omes have been integrated in JGI MycoCosm portal and equipped with comparative genomics tools to enable researchers addressing a broad spectrum of biological questions and applications for bioenergy and biotechnology.

Keywords: fungal genomics, single cell genomics, DNA methylation, comparative genomics

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3 Bacterial Community Diversity in Soil under Two Tillage Systems

Authors: Dalia Ambrazaitienė, Monika Vilkienė, Danute Karcauskienė, Gintaras Siaudinis


The soil is a complex ecosystem that is part of our biosphere. The ability of soil to provide ecosystem services is dependent on microbial diversity. T Tillage is one of the major factors that affect soil properties. The no-till systems or shallow ploughless tillage are opposite of traditional deep ploughing, no-tillage systems, for instance, increase soil organic matter by reducing mineralization rates and stimulating litter concentrations of the top soil layer, whereas deep ploughing increases the biological activity of arable soil layer and reduces the incidence of weeds. The role of soil organisms is central to soil processes. Although the number of microbial species in soil is still being debated, the metagenomic approach to estimate microbial diversity predicted about 2000 – 18 000 bacterial genomes in 1 g of soil. Despite the key role of bacteria in soil processes, there is still lack of information about the bacterial diversity of soils as affected by tillage practices. This study focused on metagenomic analysis of bacterial diversity in long-term experimental plots of Dystric Epihypogleyic Albeluvisols in western part of Lithuania. The experiment was set up in 2013 and had a split-plot design where the whole-plot treatments were laid out in a randomized design with three replicates. The whole-plot treatments consisted of two tillage methods - deep ploughing (22-25 cm) (DP), ploughless tillage (7-10 cm) (PT). Three subsamples (0-20 cm) were collected on October 22, 2015 for each of the three replicates. Subsamples from the DP and PT systems were pooled together wise to make two composition samples, one representing deep ploughing (DP) and the other ploughless tillage (PT). Genomic DNA from soil sample was extracted from approximately 200 mg field-moist soil by using the D6005 Fungal/Bacterial Miniprep set (Zymo Research®) following the manufacturer’s instructions. To determine bacterial diversity and community composition, we employed a culture – independent approach of high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Metagenomic sequencing was made with Illumina MiSeq platform in Base Clear Company. The microbial component of soil plays a crucial role in cycling of nutrients in biosphere. Our study was a preliminary attempt at observing bacterial diversity in soil under two common but contrasting tillage practices. The number of sequenced reads obtained for PT (161 917) was higher than DP (131 194). The 10 most abundant genus in soil sample were the same (Arthrobacter, Candidatus Saccharibacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacterium, Mycobacterium, Bacillus, Alphaproteobacteria, Longilinea, Gemmatimonas, Solirubrobacter), just the percent of community part was different. In DP the Arthrobacter and Acidobacterium consist respectively 8.4 % and 2.5%, meanwhile in PT just 5.8% and 2.1% of all community. The Nocardioides and Terrabacter were observed just in PT. This work was supported by the project VP1-3.1-ŠMM-01-V-03-001 NKPDOKT and National Science Program: The effect of long-term, different-intensity management of resources on the soils of different genesis and on other components of the agro-ecosystems [grant number SIT-9/2015] funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.

Keywords: deep ploughing, metagenomics, ploughless tillage, soil community analysis

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2 Influence of Bacterial Biofilm on the Corrosive Processes in Electronic Equipment

Authors: Iryna P. Dzieciuch, Michael D. Putman


Humidity is known to degrade Navy ship electronic equipment, especially in hot moist environments. If left untreated, it can cause significant and permanent damage. Even rigorous inspection and frequent clean-up would not prevent further equipment contamination and degradation because of the constant presence of favorable growth conditions for many microorganisms. Generally, relative humidity levels of less than 60% will inhibit corrosion in electronic equipment, but because NAVY electronics often operate in hot and humid environments, prevention via dehumidification is not always possible. Currently, there is no defined research that fully describes key mechanisms which cause electronics and its coating degradation. The corrosive action of most bacteria is mainly developed through (i) mycelium adherence to the metal plates, (ii) facilitation the formation of pitting areas, (iii) production of organic acids such as citric, iso-citric, cis-aconitic, alpha-ketoglutaric, which are corrosive to electronic equipment and its components. Our approach studies corrosive action in electronic equipment: circuit-board, wires and connections that are exposed in the humid environment that gets worse during condensation. In our new approach the technical task is built on work with the bacterial communities in public areas, bacterial genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of corroded circuit boards. Based on these methods, we collect and examine environmental samples from biofilms of the corroded and non-corroded sites, where bacterial contamination of electronic equipment, such as machine racks and shore boats, is an ongoing concern. Sample collection and sample analysis is focused on addressing the key questions identified above through the following tasks: laboratory sample processing and evaluation under scanning electron microscopy, initial sequencing and data evaluation; bioinformatics and data analysis. Preliminary results from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have revealed that metal particulates and alloys in corroded samples consists mostly of Tin ( < 40%), Silicon ( < 4%), Sulfur ( < 1%), Aluminum ( < 2%), Magnesium ( < 2%), Copper ( < 1%), Bromine ( < 2%), Barium ( <1%) and Iron ( < 2%) elements. We have also performed X 12000 magnification of the same sites and that proved existence of undisrupted biofilm organelles and crystal structures. Non-corrosion sites have revealed high presence of copper ( < 47%); other metals remain at the comparable level as on the samples with corrosion. We have performed X 1000 magnification on the non-corroded at the sites and have documented formation of copper crystals. The next step of this study, is to perform metagenomics sequencing at all sites and to compare bacterial composition present in the environment. While copper is nontoxic to the living organisms, the process of bacterial adhesion creates acidic environment by releasing citric, iso-citric, cis-aconitic, alpha-ketoglutaric acidics, which in turn release copper ions Cu++, which that are highly toxic to the bacteria and higher order living organisms. This phenomenon, might explain natural “antibiotic” properties that are lacking in elements such as tin. To prove or deny this hypothesis we will use next - generation sequencing (NGS) methods to investigate types and growth cycles of bacteria that from bacterial biofilm the on corrosive and non-corrosive samples.

Keywords: bacteria, biofilm, circuit board, copper, corrosion, electronic equipment, organic acids, tin

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1 Characterizing and Developing the Clinical Grade Microbiome Assay with a Robust Bioinformatics Pipeline for Supporting Precision Medicine Driven Clinical Development

Authors: Danyi Wang, Andrew Schriefer, Dennis O'Rourke, Brajendra Kumar, Yang Liu, Fei Zhong, Juergen Scheuenpflug, Zheng Feng


Purpose: It has been recognized that the microbiome plays critical roles in disease pathogenesis, including cancer, autoimmune disease, and multiple sclerosis. To develop a clinical-grade assay for exploring microbiome-derived clinical biomarkers across disease areas, a two-phase approach is implemented. 1) Identification of the optimal sample preparation reagents using pre-mixed bacteria and healthy donor stool samples coupled with proprietary Sigma-Aldrich® bioinformatics solution. 2) Exploratory analysis of patient samples for enabling precision medicine. Study Procedure: In phase 1 study, we first compared the 16S sequencing results of two ATCC® microbiome standards (MSA 2002 and MSA 2003) across five different extraction kits (Kit A, B, C, D & E). Both microbiome standards samples were extracted in triplicate across all extraction kits. Following isolation, DNA quantity was determined by Qubit assay. DNA quality was assessed to determine purity and to confirm extracted DNA is of high molecular weight. Bacterial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) amplicons were generated via amplification of the V3/V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA. Sequencing was performed using a 2x300 bp paired-end configuration on the Illumina MiSeq. Fastq files were analyzed using the Sigma-Aldrich® Microbiome Platform. The Microbiome Platform is a cloud-based service that offers best-in-class 16S-seq and WGS analysis pipelines and databases. The Platform and its methods have been extensively benchmarked using microbiome standards generated internally by MilliporeSigma and other external providers. Data Summary: The DNA yield using the extraction kit D and E is below the limit of detection (100 pg/µl) of Qubit assay as both extraction kits are intended for samples with low bacterial counts. The pre-mixed bacterial pellets at high concentrations with an input of 2 x106 cells for MSA-2002 and 1 x106 cells from MSA-2003 were not compatible with the kits. Among the remaining 3 extraction kits, kit A produced the greatest yield whereas kit B provided the least yield (Kit-A/MSA-2002: 174.25 ± 34.98; Kit-A/MSA-2003: 179.89 ± 30.18; Kit-B/MSA-2002: 27.86 ± 9.35; Kit-B/MSA-2003: 23.14 ± 6.39; Kit-C/MSA-2002: 55.19 ± 10.18; Kit-C/MSA-2003: 35.80 ± 11.41 (Mean ± SD)). Also, kit A produced the greatest yield, whereas kit B provided the least yield. The PCoA 3D visualization of the Weighted Unifrac beta diversity shows that kits A and C cluster closely together while kit B appears as an outlier. The kit A sequencing samples cluster more closely together than both the other kits. The taxonomic profiles of kit B have lower recall when compared to the known mixture profiles indicating that kit B was inefficient at detecting some of the bacteria. Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that the DNA extraction method impacts DNA concentration, purity, and microbial communities detected by next-generation sequencing analysis. Further microbiome analysis performance comparison of using healthy stool samples is underway; also, colorectal cancer patients' samples will be acquired for further explore the clinical utilities. Collectively, our comprehensive qualification approach, including the evaluation of optimal DNA extraction conditions, the inclusion of positive controls, and the implementation of a robust qualified bioinformatics pipeline, assures accurate characterization of the microbiota in a complex matrix for deciphering the deep biology and enabling precision medicine.

Keywords: 16S rRNA sequencing, analytical validation, bioinformatics pipeline, metagenomics

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